Greenham Common

photo of Greenham control tower
Greenham Common is an area of Common Land in Berkshire.

It was used for troop movements during the Civil War. It was taken over by the RAF in 1942 as an air force base, and access given to USAAF in late 1943. After WW2, the RAF continued to use it as a base. During the Cold War, the US Air Force were again present as part of Strategic Air Command. SAC left the base in 1964. With the closure of US air bases in France, the US Air Force once again came back to Greenham in the 1970's. In 1980, it was announced that Greenham would host a cruise-missile base, sparking a massive peace campaign, led by CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament). New shelters were erected and the weapons arrived in 1983. Women's Peace Camps were set up as part of the campaign, with a vigil of 30,000 women on the 6 mile perimeter. The camp was finally closed in 1993, and returned to public land in 1997, with the runways being lifted.

It is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), with plans to use the old control tower (pictured) as a wildlife viewing point.

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